Thursday, July 07, 2011

Nobel Peace Laureate's Newest War

U.S. funds south's army in Sudan amid fears of atrocities

(An intentionally ambiguous headline, since the atrocities are committed by the forces backed by empire)

"JUBA, Sudan — The Sudan People's Liberation Army was a ragtag guerrilla group six years ago, battling a bloody civil war with Sudan's north. The SPLA becomes a national army Saturday, when the south breaks away and becomes the world's newest country.

The United States is investing tens of millions of dollars into this fledgling military, one that is massing troops on the north-south border as tensions — and violence — with the north rise. SPLA troops are battling rebel militias in hot spots across the south, and fears of renewed war with the north are high.

But international rights groups say those soldiers have been responsible for human-rights abuses, including killings.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who sponsored a law that prohibits U.S. aid to foreign military units that violate human rights, says he is concerned about those reports.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, will head a U.S. delegation that will attend ceremonies marking the nation's independence. Powell was instrumental in brokering the 2005 peace accord between the north and south.

The United States backed the south's push for independence, and the Obama administration long had said it would formally recognize Southern Sudan."


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